Conversations for Change
"Getting people together speaking and listening to their own stories has served to connect previously isolated individuals."
Dr C Wales, University of Southampton
The aim of Conversations for Change is to bring together people who are in the same geographic community but not the same social community to help them understand community tension and conflict and then begin a process of making changes in themselves and their communities.
The process begins with understanding where anger and conflict comes from, recognising our inter-connectedness as human beings and then addressing these issues in ourselves and our communities using the concept of Ubuntu. The story of South Africa is essential as an example of overcoming conflict and how Ubuntu can heal so that participants can discover what they can do for themselves and their communities. Conversations for Change is an open flexible program that is designed to propagate itself by giving people the skills and support they need to initiate Conversations for Change in their own and other communities.
Conversations for Change achievements
Conversations for change has delivered workshops that have engaged over 1000 people in communities across the United Kingdom and internationally addressing gang violence, abuse on public transport and bullying. Conversations for Change has given people the skills and confidence to articulate how they feel, to listen and to be listened to. Conversations for Change has helped develop forums for dialogue between youth gangs, the police, councils and other marginalised groups.
Conversations for Change has trained 122 community facilitators and 26 trained mediators.
What they have said:
"If someone hurt my kids I would have ripped their throat out with my bare hands, but now I can see how I can resolve conflict in a peaceful, calm way without resorting to bloodshed."
Conversations for Change participant, anonymous
The training …. helped me understand a lot about life and dealing with crowds and small groups in regards to getting my point across. ….this uplifted my spirit to a fulfilment of confidence and a hunger to spread what I have learnt to my peers.”
Conversations for Change participant Karl
Before coming on the C4C I had not been out of my house in the evenings for four years”
Conversations for Change participant, Stephen